T Nation

How Often Do you Deload or Take Time Off?


#1

How often do you guys deload or take time off from the gym? Do you do it on a set schedule or just whenever you feel like you need it?

A lot of strength athletes recommend deloading every 4-6 weeks, do you think this is too often for bodybuilding type training?


#2

For volume routines and low(ish) loads (e.g. 70-80% RM...AKA higher rep sets) you really don't need to de-load/have rest days that often (other than what's incidental to life/your schedule).

If however, you're doing higher loads (low reps) and taking many sets to failure then de-loading more often (like you quoted) is more necessary.

Also, if you are dieting, you have to "cruise" more often.


#3

I take one whenever I feel like it. I used to schedule deloads but I was also constantly pounding my body trying to always add weight to big max lifts (strength athlete style). I've found that if I just wave or "auto regulate" I don't need to constant lay offs.

I think it's less important to take extended periods off (weeks). I am usually good after one or two days off. Or a week of messing around in the gym or CT's recharging workouts.


#4

I suspect overdoing time off during bodybuilding just makes gaining take longer, if by time off you mean taking time away from a exercise program as opposed to planned recovery within a program.

If your program includes sufficient rest between workouts then more isnt needed, if it doesnt then you'd find yourself feeling that you really need time off so the program may be too tightly structured.

Some programs deliberately 'overtrain' leading up to some time off, but essentially this can be seen as part of the program not a lay off.

I do understand the logic of an occasional total rest, partly for any catch-up recovery your body may still need and partly for mental rest, but would add that in a regular life brief periods of time off tends to come anyway, say a house move, a short illness, few days over christmas etc so planning more seems redundant.


#5

Fuck offtime/deloads for BBing, fuck 'em in the ass!!!


#6

I fucking <3 that you are posting again Way.


#7

haha, I'm glad to be back too! I'll stick around as long as this place isn't permeated with pussy ass kids and remains conducive to what I'm trying to achieve. It's gotten a lot better so I'll be here to drop gems of wisdom such as, "Fuck off days in the ass!" :slightly_smiling: lol


#8

I have taken one off-week this year. I was getting sick, my allergies were kicking my ass, and it was getting hot as fuck (I work outside).

When working on a spec routine (which is most of the time), that bodypart will get scheduled 'active recovery' days built into the program. Other than that, I agree with Waylander. Taking a week off sucks. It's even hard for me to stick to the active recovery on those days, but I know from experience that I need to.


#9

Fuck 'em in the ass with a big rubber dick. Then break it off and beat 'em with the rest of it.

Seriously I beleive in active rest days and deloads. They can make all the difference in the world giving your muscles time to adapt.


#10

I fear the tide may have tried to shift back, but I hope it is just a flash in the pan. But yeah I know what you mean. And your presence helps.

And Jay, getting sick is a whole different animal. I'll lift through a cold or other such minor issue. But any major respiratory issues or flu like symptoms and I'll stay home a couple days till I can breath and not vomit.


#11

Thanks for turning what Way said Gay. Sheesh...kids...


#12

Where in KS are you man?


#13

In the words of Plato the great philosopher and instituter of higher learning....

Ah stuff it:

:stuck_out_tongue:


#14

It's not exactly deloading, but I often come back to the conclusion that the smartest thing I ever did with regard to staying uninjured in training was following -- back when I was in my late 30's -- Scott Warman's powerlifting periodization approach, adapted to bb'ing.

This method had each cycle start at a weight that could be lifted for 9 reps, with each week adding an even amount of weight such that at the end of the cycle, you'd hit your new target at 3 reps.

There was no "deload" after that, but just going immediately back to a 9 rep weight, but this time a little heavier.

I never had problems with that.

Problem is these days I keep coming up with reasons why I want to do something else and stay at the relatively heavier weights and have not been able to make myself drop back to the light weight according to such a schedule.

(And these days I have chronic soft tissue problems.)

It's tempting and there's some considerable merit to saying, judge the situation at the moment and do appropriately, rather than be locked into what was decided weeks ago.

But there's also something considerable to be said for a planned program, and going back to lighter weight -- or having a deload, which is in some ways similar -- at planned times, whether at that moment you feel you need it or not.

Sort of like those folk who say that they take a bath every month, whether they need it or not.


#15

The problem I have with many of the other ways of "cutting back", is that you can de-train quite badly. Take up to a week off, and it can take weeks before you're back to where you were. Reduce the load somewhat, and it still feels almost as heavy as before (if still approaching failure) because your body simply adapts. As the Bulgarian weightlifters say:

"Your body becomes whatever you do"

Or something like that. Basically, if you reduce the load, that new load becomes the new "hard load".

If I really need my system to bounce back (not as much as before since I manage fatigue better nowadays), I've always favoured lowering intensiveness. I do this by simply cutting the set a rep or few short of failure. You can make up for the reduction in reps by increasing the sets a little. Doing it this way you can keep the weight the same, thus keeping yourself used to heavy loads.

Having said all that though, I tend to agree with Waylanderxx: For bodybuilding (rep range in the medium to high range); it's rare to need frequent lay-offs (unless you're not eating/recovering enough).


#16

They won't "pussy-up" the forum if the real lifters here speak up and quit defending these jackasses. If someone posts that they hate training arms and that they can't feel theiur veins pop in their head so that is why they hate them, every serious lifter here should speak up...instead of people actually defending that bullshit.

This forum went through many changes to make it clear what this section is about. There should be no more confusion. If you don't want bigger muscles (ALL MUSCLES) or a more balanced physique, get the fuck out.


#17

Its like your reading my mind...


#18

Yes, I agree.

In my above post, I was referring to the situation of going to relatively heavier loads. There would be no need for the described weight cycling if usually doing most work in the medium to higher rep range.

In fact, all the Warman approach does is move you back to that range periodically. So if you're already there most of the time or much of the time, there's no relevance.


#19

The most advanced guys deload on the DAYS they feel they need to.


#20

Exactly how Dorian deloaded.